Review: Scariest $2 Game Ever? The Swine

Is this game worth the $2 on steam? Yes.

The Swine was recently released on June 18, 2020, developed and published by Vincent Lade. To give a quick synopsis with no spoilers – you are essentially living in what seems to be a cabin in the middle of nowhere with just yourself and your wife. Some creepy people in pig masks show up and the rest of the story is for you to find out by playing the game.

Game Play

The game is essentially an interactive story. You’re just there to experience it, your actions don’t have any effect on the outcome aside from advancing the story. There is no combat or any skill involved. However, that is not a bad thing. This game is meant to tell a story and it does it quite effectively. The story keeps you guessing and uneasy; it clearly establishes the spooky horror ambiance. I definitely got my fair share of spooks.

There’s something special about playing a story where you are in control of a character versus watching a movie. You’ll hear a lot of people say they love scary movies, but they can’t play scary games because it’s too immersive and the spook factor is threefold.

The game is only about 45 minutes long, but I took a little over an hour because I spent a little extra time being too spooked to progress. The game is short, but it is only $2 and I think it is worth every penny.

Graphics

The game has great graphics, its not cutting edge, but PLENTY good looking to be appealing to the eye. The only thing that was weird was that the books you could pick up and look at seemed to be in ultra low resolution to the point where I couldn’t read the book title. It could have been one of my settings, but other than that, very pleased.

Find The Swine on Steam – what do you have to lose? besides 2 bucks… and some sleep.

You can also watch me play the whole thing – *SPOILER ALERT*
Featuring Bonus Outlast Game play too…

New GB Merchandise!

We are proud to announce our first drop of Gamer Bias Merchandise.

You can now get your own GB swag to rock however you please. Our first release will have 4 designs.

Every design is available across different products! Check out the GB Shop now!

In addition to our Gamer Bias logo designs, we also have the first Valorant merch releases! This drop includes Chibi Sage & Jett.

Use code HOMEBODY10 for 10% off.

Review: A Way Out

A how to escape prison simulator, now available on Steam.

We previously mentioned that EA/Origin was moving a bunch of games over to Steam. Amidst the move, many EA games were on sale in the Steam store and it has brought many of these games back onto my radar.

I have been wanting to play A Way Out for a while now and this seemed like as good a time as any. The game is exclusively a 2 player co-op experience and it cannot be played without a friend. The main premise of the game is you reliving the tale of two inmates escaping prison. The main menu literally shows your two characters outside of prison talking back on the feat, so you know you successfully escaped already.

Game Play

The game is on the story telling side, rather than being challenging or having any advanced combat mechanics. I don’t think I even saw a difficulty setting. This is not a bad thing at all, the game accomplishes its goal very well. The coolest thing is that even if you are playing online, you are always seeing the game in split screen. You can see everything that your partner in crime is doing, which keeps you in the loop and creates a new sense of immersion into the game.

The acting is pretty good and they do portray the emotions of your characters and the NPCs pretty decently. I wouldn’t rave about the acting, but I’m not mad at it either. You can also interact with numerous items in the environment which adds to the experience. The puzzles are pretty straightforward, I don’t think anything will have you thinking too hard, but it’s enough to keep you entertained for a while.

Bugs

The game has been out for a while and it is clear that EA (Or Hazelight Studios) didn’t care enough to fix any common and very clearly reported bugs. I ran into 2 game breaking bugs the first 3 hours, which I had to google and found out happened to literally almost everyone. Game companies need to pay more attention and fix GAME BREAKING bugs. I ran into an infinite loading screen 3 times that required me to exit the game and reload. While another bug broke the environment and I could not advance in the story anymore.

I think the game is awesome and would recommend people to pick it up if they have a friend they can experience the game with, but it is disappointing to see some sloppiness from the developers. There are brief sections of the game that I felt were poorly developed, but I’ll avoid talking about those as they could include spoilers.

Check the game out on Steam.

Twitch Sings: Get your Karaoke Fix at Home!

Twitch releases their own karaoke platform for all.

Quarantine may be semi-over, but for those who are still staying home to reduce risks, you can still enjoy karaoke with friends from the comfort of your own home. Twitch released their own karaoke platform titled “Twitch Sings”. It’s a platform built by twitch for everyone and includes support for live streams.

The platform already has an impressive start. It is quite intuitive and has hard to find features missing on other karaoke apps/machines. You can style your avatar that sings on a stage or use your webcam and have a full on performance. You can also modify the mic output as well to a have effects like studio, hall, chorus, and best of all AUTO TUNE. So fear not if you can’t sing all that well. The game will play back your performance as well, which you can publish and share…or delete if you didn’t sound as good as you thought you did.

The song selection is not enormous, but its not bad at all, you’ll find tons of your favorite bangers and sing alongs. They do have backstreet boys though, so does anything else really even matter? Some selections even have guide vocals to help you out in case you are tone deaf like myself. The game also tells you if you are on pitch or not.

But…is karaoke alone in your room really all that fun? It is, but even if it wasn’t, YES – twitch sings has multiplayer. You can sing solo, duet, or even have a party with up with 5 people and take turns singing!

I’m really impressed by this platform so far – finally someone properly blends karaoke with a social platform properly.

Grab Twitch Sings for FREE.

Legends of Runeterra Review

Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

Card games are a genre that has transitioned into the digital era with grace but also with a lot of legacy features that some of us don’t really find appealing.

Sure, you can justify that the business models that underpin games like Hearthstone by pointing out all of the free content you get but it still makes it a bit annoying to have to shell out cash each and every time you want to upgrade your deck.

At least with a physical game you have cards to hold. In the virtual world, you have nothing other than a printout of your receipt (if you want that).

One game that is charming enough to make us forget the DLC tax that holds it all together is Legends of Runeterra, a fun deck game based on the League of Legends IP.

You don’t need to be familiar with that game, but it might help make everything click with you that much more. One thing that we had a hard time wrapping our head around is the “why” behind this game. Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

The jury is still out on that and it is a shame that almost any contender in this genre is compared with the aforementioned Blizzard property or the real OG, Magic the Gathering.

It might strike you as a copy of something superior at first glance, but what we have on offer here is innovative enough to warrant a second look.

For one thing, the action of the game moves much faster than either of the other games we mentioned. There is some tie in with the League of Legends lore but it won’t impact the game nor how you play it.

Again, we enjoyed how it assumed we knew nothing about one of the world’s biggest multiplayer games and that helped acclimate and establish the game as its own thing.

Another thing that we appreciated is that the game somewhat holds your hand or even helps guide your strategy.

A gameplay feature called the “Oracle’s Eye” will show you the impact of your moves down the road and this gives you loads of insight into how the mechanics of everything works. It’s pretty invaluable, especially if you’re not familiar with this kind of card game.

Graphics are serviceable if somewhat bright and generic from some perspectives. Overall, Legends of Runeterra delivers where it matters but there is one nagging issue.

The purchase of new cards is just a frustrating feature for a video game. We get it: If you’re used to this kind of thing, that mechanic probably isn’t a big deal. And for gamers raised in mobile ecosystems, the occasional purchase is justified. But when you’re trying to fall in love with a game and decide whether or not you want to put more of your time into it, the last thing you want to think about is a potential tax on your fun.

Because let’s face it, you’re going to have to upgrade your deck eventually. That’s just the way these games are. If you can stomach that, then Legends of Runeterra offers just enough of a change in the core game play that we think it merits a look.

Valorant: Reyna is the MOST BROKEN agent.

Reyna is overpowered.

So we’re a few days into Valorant 1.0 release. They introduced one new agent, Reyna, aka, the most OP agent. Let me give you a rundown of all of her abilities and why they are broken as hell.

Leer – this is her flash bang ability. Except it can go through walls and stays in the air for a period of time and blinds (near sights) anyone that looks at it during that time. You can dodge it by not looking at it, but guess what, your back would be turned to her and she could just mow you down. You could also just shoot it down with a couple shots, but that means taking your aim away from Reyna/enemies and pointing your gun at the orb, which gives enemies PLENTY of time to gun you down first. The funniest part is that this is probably her least overpowered ability.

Devour/Dismiss – Reyna can also buy a pool of 4 charges that can be interchanged between using devour or dismiss. If she kills an enemy she is able to choose between these two skills to activate. Devour, heals Reyna to FULL health, yes, she can literally leave every skirmish with an enemy and if she kills them, regain all of her health, up to 4 times in a round. Her other choice, dismiss, instead makes her invincible and transparent (but still visible), giving her more move speed to reposition herself after killing someone. But Riot decided that this wasn’t already OP enough, so Reyna can OVERHEAL herself and gain more than 100 health….

So we haven’t even talked about her ultimate ability yet and her abilities are all 5x stronger than all the other agents in the game. Her flash makes Phoenix’s look useless in comparison and she can heal much faster and more times than Phoenix. Her mobility skill outshines Jett’s as well. Reyna becomes invincible and quicker when she moves away, while Jett can only dash once (unless she gets 2 more kills) and Jett can still be shot and has a delay after the dash ends before she can shoot again.

I guess this didn’t already seem broken enough, so Riot decided to give Reyna the most ridiculous ultimate ability ever seen in any competitive shooter game. EMPRESS. Once she activates her ult, Reyna gains – INCREASED FIRE RATE, INCREASED RELOAD SPEED, REDUCED RECOIL. Wow, seems like a pretty strong ult, BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. She can also now see all of her enemies outlined in a bright red glow making them 3x easier to spot.

Literally can spot enemies 2 miles away in her ult

Her ult is so ridiculous, it requires another paragraph to explain what else it does. Her ult also modifies her devour dismiss abilities. Whenever you get a kill while you have your ult active, it will devour the enemy, automatically…without using an orb. Yes, you heard me, you get a free heal after every kill while in Empress mode. Also, if you trigger dismiss during Empress, you actually become fully 100% invisible and invincible to the enemy, letting you move anywhere you want with no detection. With all of this going on with her ult, you would think you could just wait for it to run out before fighting her, right? Wrong. Her ult timer, which is already long off the bat, RESETS every time she gets a kill. Don’t forget that if she has full armor, she can overheal to having a total of 200 health.

There is no other agent that is currently this imbalanced.

Which clown designed this agent and got it approved? I thought I was playing Valorant, not League of Legends. I hope Riot doesn’t follow the same path and make new agents overpowered so everyone spends money to buy them.

Someone nerf her, please.

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Player’s Perspective

Is the new Phantasy Star Online 2 PC release worth playing in 2020, 8 years after the initial release in Japan?

Judging by the amount of hours I’ve put into the game in the first few days so far, my short answer is *yes*.

Gameplay

I think the winning aspect of this game is the combat system, even though PSO2 is around 8 years old, I was pleasantly surprised by the slick combat and how responsive the gameplay is. This game can be compared closely to monster hunter and diablo. You hang out in town where there are tons of things to do – shop, gamble, craft, etc. Then you accept client orders (tasks) and queue up in a mission to board your ship. Essentially, this game is a dungeon crawler and not an open world MMO. Each mission is self contained and you can redo them on different difficulties for exp and loot.

The combat itself is slick – enemies don’t feel too much like bullet sponges and you can swap between a target lock on system or use free aim mode which turns the game into 3rd person shooter style for ranged attackers. Animations are done really well; melee attacks are pleasing to the eye and satisfying to land, they also give me flashbacks to Devil May Cry. For those who don’t know my taste in games, I love the concept of MMOs/Dungeon crawlers, but often hate the combat system and how enemies just feel like sponges while you spam every key on the keyboard. So when I enjoy the combat in a game like PSO2, it means it has to be pretty good.

There is still a ton of content I haven’t explored yet, but I did have a lot of fun at the casino. I explored a few of the mini games, and you’ll find some familiar things – roulette, blackjack, slots, and more. My friends and I definitely spent a bit too much time hitting the slots, but at least we know never to go to a real casino together, because we apparently have a gambling problem.

Tips

There are definitely some quick tips that I wish I knew before blindly trying to level up my character.

  • Spend some time doing the initial tutorial missions, especially the ones from Afin and Cofy, who are found near the ship entrance, they will unlock extra things to make your life easier
  • If you don’t have friends on ship 2, consider starting in ship 1 or 3, less people means less lag
  • You can usually do missions 5-8 levels higher than you relatively easily for better experience
  • ACCEPT CLIENT ORDERS, these provide the most experience for you to level up significantly faster – you’ll be focusing on the orders on the far left, far right, and at the counters by your ship gate entrance.
  • Do urgent missions that pop up during certain time frames, they are fun and efficient for leveling/loot
  • Look up guides on how to distribute your class skills, you can level your class skills at one of the counters
  • Don’t bet all your casino money in roulette
Don’t Get Sucked Into Slots

Bugs

PSO2 has a few bugs here and there. Some people are having issues with the Microsoft store; fortunately, it was all seamless for me. There is major lag in the main lobby when your block (server) is full, but NVIDIA did release a driver that helped a little bit, but didn’t fully fix it. I’ve also been disconnected at extremely inconvenient times and lost out on bonuses. Hopefully there are some fixes for PC, it has only been out for a few days.

Overall

I am enjoying the game and I think anyone who enjoys this genre should give it a try. You also don’t need to worry too much about the premium plan or paid subscription. The game is free to play and the paid bonuses are nice to have, but not game breaking at all. The only thing I’m missing out on is the inability to sell items or trade with my friends (kind of sucky, but it could be worse)
Grab it in the Microsoft Store.

Valorant Beta Over, Releases June 2nd

The Valorant beta ended on May 28th, so what’s next?

After grinding ranks in Valorant beta, it has come to an end and unfortunately all of that hard work will be wiped for the full game release. But, beta testing is always a crucial step in any game and the Riot team has made great efforts towards bug fixes, game balances/enhancements, and improving security from hackers.

Some Beta Stats

There will be another update that coincides with the release, along with a new agent that was teased in their release trailer. Also featured was the title of their first season, which will be “Ignite”. We don’t have a detailed list of updates officially from Riot yet for the release patch, but there are talks of some buffs to Omen’s abilities (teleport will stay the same). Also the new agent may have some sort of vampire-esque skills (lifesteal?).

Either way, I am pumped for the release! The game had a rocky start with bugs, an abundance of crashes, and terrible Vanguard implementation, but most of it seemingly seemed to be worked out by the end of beta. The game grew on me, and I find myself wanting to play it now that it’s gone.

Catch you all on June 2nd. See the trailer below.

Valorant Release Trailer

New Paper Mario Announced for Release!

Paper Mario Returns in the New, Foldable Format with The Origami King This Fall!

Pre-Order HERE: https://amzn.to/2XH9F2y

The Mario saga is long and involved, but we often only get glimpses of the “lore” that ties the Mushroom Kingdom together in the mainline games.

For those of us that need a little bit more time with Mario – as well as the opportunity to get to know him and his universe better – the Paper Mario series has provided a wealth of joy and entertainment ever since it debuted on the Nintendo 64 in Japan back in 2001.

If you aren’t all that familiar with the Paper Mario series, think of it as the RPG counterpart to the platforming classic.

Originally drawing inspiration from the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Square and Nintendo that resulted in Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario takes the story elements and general adventure structure of that game and ports it all over into its own unique series of Mario games.

What makes Paper Mario fun for fans is that it is often a game focused heavily on story and typically features witty dialogue and novel situations for our titular hero.

The Origami King looks set to largely continue this tradition when it launches on July 17, 2020.

The official Paper Mario The Origami King trailer from Nintendo

So what’s the big deal with The Origami King, aside from its unexpected announcement and concomitant imminent release date?

From what we can tell, The Origami King looks set to bring back all of the charm and characters that people know and love but the tone of the story is, at least from the trailer, darker than we’re used to from a Mario game.

It looks like Bowser and Mario will be teaming up against whoever has “creased” the Mushroom Kingdom into an origami-style bondage which is both a nice shift from the typical scenario between the hero and villain as well as allows for interesting storytelling opportunities.

As anyone who has played the Paper Mario games can tell you, Bowser often ends up stealing the show when he’s around.

Aside from its bright and colorful graphics done in a unique “paper” style, Paper Mario is also a compelling game when it comes to combat and interacting with its world.

While world interaction isn’t anything new to these games, the origami effect allows for some unique ways that of doing so that promise to help this title continue the tradition of excellence established by its forbears.

Specifically, Nintendo highlights Mario’s new ability “called 1000-Fold Arms, allows you to interact with the landscape by stretching out and pulling, peeling and revealing new locations, helping you to solve puzzles and uncover unexpected surprises.”

Also unique to The Origami King is what the Big N is calling a ring-based combat system that combines elements of a puzzle with the RPG mechanics we know and love. Again, none of this was expected just in case you were wondering why this hype machine appeared out of nowhere.

While we do know that this is Mario’s anniversary and that Nintendo is pulling out all of the stops to make 2020 a big deal for their mascot, no one really thought a Paper Mario game was in the mix. Now we do and we won’t have to wait long to bring a swift end to the Origami’ King’s reign.

Unbiased Review: Gears Tactics, Not the Gears You Know

Gears of War makes an entry into the turn based world.

Microsoft has pulled the old trick once again, releasing Gears Tactics as their turn based game spinning off of the Gears of War world. A little different than how they created Halo Wars as a real time strategy game. Many compare Gears Tactics directly to X-COM.

Gameplay

The Gears of War franchise has largely used almost the exact same gameplay mechanics since 2006 with its original installment. I found myself losing interest after heavily playing GoW2 and a little of GoW3. Gears tactics brings a very refreshing and much needed break from the typical third person shooter style.

This game is immediately enjoyable from the start. I started the game in normal mode and it definitely has a great difficulty balance off the bat, you will easily die if you don’t actually put some thought into your moves.

Each character has a certain number of action moves they can pull each turn, such as shooting, reloading, healing, or tossing nades. They also have an interesting mechanic called overwatch, in which your characters (or enemies) can cover an area and shoot at anyone that moves through it.

Playing this game gave me flashbacks to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which I had beaten a little while ago. You have a set of main characters, and along with them, you can recruit a rotating pool of soldiers as well. There’s also a mix of classes such as support, heavy, sniper, etc.

There is no grid system that you have to move your characters through, which makes the game feel very fluid and open. You will also be using the good old signature GoW slide into cover pretty much every move, which is as satisfying here as it is in third person (so is the chainsaw).

Gears Tactics Trailer

Visuals

The game surprised me with how they blend the bird’s eye view with third person action views. I thought the graphics would be dumbed down like how most strategy games are, but when action scenes are shown, it looks almost exactly like a regular Gears game.

There were times where I thought to myself, “oh the animators/designers definitely cheaped out here, like when I chainsawed someone in the upper body and somehow his legs fall off instead, or when you rescue someone from a torture chamber and he looks fully intact and healthy. But nothing was bad enough to subtract from the experience, I just chuckled to myself and kept playing. Attention to detail is not this game’s strong suite.

This game can push your PC pretty hard; I am running it at 1440p, 144hz on ultra. It looks wonderful and as a PC player, I couldn’t ask for more.

TLDR

If you like strategy games or are a Gears of War player – don’t sleep on this title. I am thoroughly enjoying this and I would recommend it. The combat is surprisingly fluid and the level design is excellent in providing a challenge. Everything that was satisfying in a regular Gears game is still satisfying here – chainsaws, headshots, explosions, sliding around, etc.

You can get Gears Tactics on Steam, but I would recommend getting the Xbox/PC Game Pass from Microsoft for a much lower price.